Government Gazette REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA Vol. 449 Cape Town 28 November 2002 No. 24112 THE PRESIDENCY No. 1497 28 November 2002 It is hereby notified that the President has assented to the following Act, which is hereby published for general information:– No. 40 of 2002: Institution of Legal Proceedings against certain Organs of State Act, 2002. AIDS HELPLINE: 0800-123-22 Prevention is the cure No.24112 2 GOVERNMENT GAZETTE, 28 2002 NOVEMBER Act No. 40,2002 INSTITUTION OF LEGAL PROCEEDINGSAGAINST CERTAIN ORGANS OF STATE ACT, 2002 GENERAL EXPLANATORY NOTE: [ ] in bold Words type in square brackets indicate omissions from existing enactments. Words with underlined a solid line indicate insertions in existing enactments. (English text signed by the President.) (Assented to 24 November 2002.) ACT of prescription of debts To regulate the prescription and to harmonise the periods which for certain organs to of stateare liable; make for provision notice of legal proceedings against certain requirements in connection with the institution of organs of state in respect the recoveryof debt; to repeal or amend certain laws; and to provide for matters connected therewith. PREAMBLE of RECOGNISING THAT certain provisions existing laws providefor- * different notice periods for the institution of legal proceedings against certain organs of state in respectof the recoveryof debts; * different periods of prescription in respect of such debts; AND RECOGNISING THAT- * the Prescription Act, 1969 (Act No. 68 of 1969), being the cornerstone of the laws regulating the extinctionof debts by prescription, consolidated and amended the laws relating to prescription; * some of the provisions existing laws which provide different periods of for of prescriptioninrespect of certaindebtsareinconsistentwiththe periods of prescription prescribed by the Prescription Act,1969; AND BEARING IN MIND THAT- * SouthAfricahas moved fromaparliamentarysovereignstatetoa democratic constitutional sovereign state; * the Bill of Rights is the cornerstoneof democracy in South Africa and that fulfil the State must respect, protect, promote and the rights in the of Bill Rights; * section 34 of the Constitution provides that everyone has the right to have be any dispute that canresolved bythe applicationof law decided in a fair public hearing before a court or, where appropriate, another independent and impartial tribunal or forum; * theright of accessto courtsmay be limitedtotheextentthatthe limitation is reasonable and justifiable in an open and democraticsociety based on human dignity, equality and freedom as contemplated in section 36 of the Constitution: of AND RECOGNISING the need to harmonise and create uniformity in respect the provisionsof existing laws which provide for- 4 No. 24112 GOVERNMENT GAZETTE, 28 NOVEMBER 2002 ~ ~~ ~~ Act No. 40,2002 INSTITUTION OF LEGAL PROCEEDINGS AGAINST CERTAIN ORGANS OF STATE ACT, 2002 * different notice periods for the institution of legal proceedings against certain organs of state for the recovery of a debt, by substituting those notice periodswith a uniform notice period which apply in respect will of of the institutionof legal proceedings against certain organs state for the recovery of a debt; * different periods of prescription, by making the provisions Chapter 1 1 of 1 of the Prescription Act, 1969; applicable to all debts; AND RECOGNISING theneed to provide for transitional arrangements to ensure . a smooth transition between the various existing statutory provisions regulating of legal proceedings against certain organs notice periods for the institution of state of of in respect the recovery debts and the periods of prescription of such debts, and the provisionsof this Act; AND BEARING IN MIND the limited need, for legal or practical purposes, to of retain certain provisions existing laws which providefor- * notice periods that differ from the envisaged uniform notice period; * periods of prescriptionthatdifferfromtheperiods of prescription prescribed by Chapter I11 of the PrescriptionAct, 1969, B E IT THEREFORE ENACTED bythe Parliament of theRepublic of South Africa, as follows:- Definitions 1. (1) In this Act, unless the context indicates otherwise- (i) “creditor” means a person who intends to institute legal proceedings against 5 anorganof state for therecoveryofa debtor who has instituted such proceedings, and includes such person’s tutor or curator if such person is a minor or mentally ill or under curatorship, as the case may be; (ii) “Constitution” means the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 No. 1996);(Act 108 of 10 (iii) “debt” means any debt arising from any cause of action- fa) which arises from delictual, contractual or any other liability, including a cause of action which relates to or arises from any- (i) act performed under or in terms of any law; or (ii) omission to do anything which should have been done under or in 15 terms of any law; and ( b ) for which an organ of state is liable for payment of damages, whether such debt became due before or afterthe fixed date; (iv) “fixed date” means the date of commencement of this Act; “national department” (v) means- 20 ( a ) a department mentioned in the first column of Schedule 1 to the Public ServiceAct,1994(Proclamation No. 103 of 1994),butexcludes a provincial administration; or ( 6 ) an organisational component mentioned in the first column of Schedule 25 3 to that Act: (vi) “notice” means a notice contemplated in section 3( l)(a); (vii) “organof state” means- any national or provincial department; a municipality contemplated in section 151 of the Constitution; any functionary or institution exercising a power or performing a 30 function in terms of theConstitution, or a provincialconstitution referred to in section 142 of the Constitution; the South AfricanMaritime SafetyAuthority established by section 2 of the South African Maritime Safety Authority Act, 1998 (Act No. 5 of 1998): 35 The SouthAfricanNational Roads AgencyLimited contemplated in section 3 of The South African National Roads Agency Limited and National Roads Act, 1998 (Act No. 7 of 1998); and any person for whose debt an organ ofstate contemplatedin paragraphs (a) to ( e ) is liable; 40 6 No. 24112 GOVERNMENT GAZETTE, 28 NOVEMBER 2002 Act No. 40, 2002 INSTITUTION OF LEGAL PROCEEDINGS AGAINST CERTAIN ORGANS OF STATE ACT, 2002 (viii) “provincial department” means- ( a ) a provincial administration mentioned in the first column of Schedule 1 to the Public Service Act, 1994 (Proclamation No. 103 of 1994); or ( b ) a departmentwithin a provincial administration and mentioned in the column first of Schedule 2 to that Act. 5 (2) This Act does not apply to any debt- (a) which has been extinguished by prescription before the fixed date; or (b) which has not been extinguished by prescription before the fixed date and in respect of which any legal proceedings were instituted before the fixed date. (3) Anylegalproceedingsreferredtoin subsection (2)(b) must be continued and 10 concluded as if this Act had not been passed. (4) For purposes of this Act, legalproceedings are instituted by service of any process, excluding a notice, on an organ of state in which a creditor claims payment of a debt. Part 1 Prescription of debts, and amendment repeal or of laws transitional and 15 arrangements relating to prescription of debts 2. (1) The laws referred to in the Schedule are, as from the fixed date, amended or repealed to the extent set out in the third column of the Schedule. ( 2 ) Subject to section 3 and subsections (3) and (4), a debt which became due- ( a ) before the fixed date, which has not been extinguished by prescription and in 20 respect of which legal proceedings were not instituted before that date; or (b) after thefixeddate, will be extinguished by prescription as contemplated in Chapter I11 of the Prescription Act, 1969 (Act No. 68 of 1969), read with the provisions of that Act relating thereto. (3) Subject to subsection (4), any period of prescription which was applicable to any 25 debt referred to in subsection (2)(a), before the fixed date, will no longer be applicable date. fixed to such debt after the . . (4) (a) The expired portion of any period of prescriptionapplicable to a debt referred to in subsection (2)(a), must be deducted from the said period of prescription contemplated in Chapter III of the Prescription Act, 1969, read with the provisions of 30 that Act relating thereto, and the balance of the period of prescription so arrived at will constitute the new unexpired portion of prescription for such debt, applicable as from the fixed date. (b) If the unexpired portion of the period of prescription of a debt referred to in paragraph ( a ) will be completed within 12 months after the fixed date, that period of 35 prescription must only be regarded ashaving been completed 12 months after the fixed date. Part 2 Notice of intended legal proceedings to be given to organ of state 3. (1) No legal proceedings for the recovery of a debt may be instituted against an 40 organ of state unless- (a) the creditor has given the organ ofstate in question notice in writing of his or her or its intention to institute the legal proceedings in question; or (b) the organ of state in question has consented in writing to the institution of that s- legal 45 (i) withoutsuchnotice;or (ii) upon receipt of a notice which does not comply with all the requirements set out in subsection ( 2 ) . ( 2 ) A notice must- ( a ) within six months from the date on which the debt became due, be served on 50 the organ of state in accordance with section 4( 1); and ( b ) brieflyset out- 8 No. 24112 GOVERNMENT GAZETTE, NOVEMBER 2002 28 Act No. 40,2002 INSTITUTION OF LEGAL PROCEEDINGS AGAINST CERTAIN ORGANS OF STATE ACT, 2002 (i) the facts giving rise to the debt; and (ii) such particulars of such debtas are within the knowledgeof the creditor. (3) For purposes of subsection (2)(u)- ( a ) a debt may not be regarded as being due until the creditor has knowledge of the identity of the organ of state and of the facts giving rise tothe debt, but a 5 creditor must be regarded having acquired such knowledgeas soon as he or as she or it could haveacquired itby exercising reasonable care, unless the organ of state wilfully prevented him or her or it from acquiring such knowledge; and ( b ) a debt referred to in section 2(2)(a),must be regarded as having become due 10 on the fixed date. (4) (a) If an organ of state relies on a creditor’s failure to serve a notice in terms of subsection (2)(a), the creditor mayapply to a court having jurisdiction forcondonation of such failure. (b) The court may grant an application referred to in paragraph (a) if it is satisfied 15 that- (i) the debt has not been extinguished by prescription; (ii) good cause exists for the failure by the creditor; and (iii) the organ of state was not unreasonably prejudiced by the failure. (c) If an application is granted in terms of paragraph (b),the court may grant leave to 20 institute the legal proceedings in question, on such conditions regarding notice to the organ of state as the court may deem appropriate. Service of notice 4. (1) A notice must be served’on an organ of state by delivering it by hand or by sending it by certified mail or, subject to subsection (2),by sending it by electronic mail 25 or by transmitting it by facsimile, inthe case where the organ of state is- a nationalor provincial department mentioned in the first column of Schedule 1, 2 or 3 to the Public Service Act, 1994 (Proclamation No. 103 of 1994), to the officer who is the incumbent of the post bearing the designation mentioned in the second column of the said Schedule 1 , 2 or 3 opposite the name the of 30 relevant national or provincial department; a municipality, to the municipal manager appointed in terms of section 82 of theLocalGovernment: Municipal Structures Act, 1998 (Act No. 117of 1998): a functionaq or institution referred to in paragraph (c) of the definition of 35 “organ of state”, to the chairperson, head, chief executive officer, or equivalent officer, of that functionary or institution, or where such functionary is a natural person, to that natural person; the South AfricanMaritime Safety Authority, to the chief executive officer of thatAuthorityappointed under section 22 of the South African Maritime 40 Safety .4uthority Act, 1998 (Act No. 5 of 1998); The South African National Roads Agency Limited, to the chief executive officerofthatAgency appointed under section 19 of The South African National Roads Agency Limited and National Roads Act, 1998 (Act No. 7 of 1998): or 45 a person referred to in paragraph fJ of the definition of “organ of state”, to ’ that Derson. (2) If a nohce hasbeen sent by electronic mail or transmitted by facsimile as contemplated in subsection (l), the creditor must- (a) take all reasonable steps to ensure that the notice has been received by the 50 officer or person to whom it was so sent or transmitted; and (b) withinsevendays after the date upon whichthat notice was so sent or transmitted, deliver by hand or send by certified mail a certified copy of that notice to the relevant officer or person referred to in subsection (l), which must be accompanied by an affidavit by creditor or the person who sent or the 55 transmitted the notice- (i) indicating the date on which and the time at which, and the electronic mail address or facsimile number to which, the notice was so sent or transmitted; 10 No. 24112 GOVERNMENT GAZETTE, 28 NOVEMBER 2002 Act No. 40,2002 INSTITUTION OF LEGAL PROCEEDINGS AGAINST CERTAIN ORGANS OF STATE ACT, 2002 (ii) containing any proof that it was sent or transmitted; (iii) setting out the steps taken in terms of paragraph (a); and (iv) indicating whether confirmation of the receipt of the notice has been obtained and, if applicable, the name of the officer or person who has given that confirmation. 5 Service of process 5. (1) ( a ) Any process by which any legal proceedings contemplated in section 3( 1) are instituted must be served in the manner prescribed by the rules of the court in question for the service of process. (b)Despite paragraph (a), any process by which any legal proceedings contemplated 10 in section 3( 1) are instituted and in which the- (i) Minister for Intelligence is the defendant or respondent, may be served on the Director-General: National Intelligence Agency or theDirector-General: South African Secret Service, as the case may be; (ii) Minister for Safety and Security isthe defendant or respondent, may be served 15 on- (aa) the National Commissioner of the South African PoliceService as defined in section 1 of the South African Police ServiceAct, 1995 (Act No. 68 of 1995); or (bb) the Provincial Commissioner ofthe South African Police Service as 20 ,1995, of the defined in section 1 of the South African Police Service Act, province in which the cause of action arose; or (iii) Minister of Correctional Services is the defendant or respondent, maybe served on- (aa) the Commissionerof Correctional Services as defined in section 1 of the 25 Correctional Services Act, 1998 (ActNo. 111 of 1998); or (bb) the Provincial Commissioner of Correctional Services as defined in section 1 of the Correctional ServicesAct, 1998, of the province which in the cause of action arose. (2) No process referred to in subsection (1) may be served as contemplated in that 30 the subsection before the expiry of a period of 30 days after notice, where applicable, has been served on the organ of state in terms of section 3(2)(a). (3) If any process referred to in subsection (1) has been served as contemplated in that subsection before the expiry of the period referred to in subsection (2), such process must be regarded as having been served on the first day after the expiry of the said 35 period. Short title 6. This is the Institution of Legal Proceedings against certain Organs of State Act, 2002. . . 12 No. 24112 GAZETTE, GOVERNMENT 28 NOVEMBER 2002 Act NO.40.2002 '. MSTITUTION OF LEGAL PROCEEDINGSAGAINST CERTAIN ORGANS OF STATE ACT, 2002 SCHEDULE (Laws amendedor repealed by section 2(1)) Vo. and year of law ihort title Cxtent of amendment or epeal ~ ~~ k t No. 38 of 1927 3lack Administration Act, 'he repeal of section 32A. 927 k t No. 57 of 1951 vlerchant Shipping Act, 1951 . The repeal of section 343. !. The amendment of section 1 4 4 by the deletion of subsec- ion (4). 4ct No. 44 of 1957 Iefence Act, 1957 'he repeal of section 113. 4ct No. 94 of 1970 imitation of Legal Proceed- l e repeal of the whole. ngs (Provincial and Local luthorities) Act, 1970 4ct No. 18 of 1973 blental Health Act, 1973 The amendment of section 68 'y the deletion of subsection 4). 4ct No. 90 of 1979 !ducation and Training Act, The repeal of section 42A. I979 4ct No. 70 of 1988 :ducation Affairs Act (House The repeal of section 108. If Assembly), 1988 ~~ ~~ 4ct No. 122 of 1992 h d i t Arrangements Act, The repeal of section 52. 1992 4ct No. 38 of 1994 .ntelligence Services Act, The repeal of section 26. I994 Proclamation No. 103 of 1994 'ublic Service Act, 1994 The repeal of section 39. 4ct No. 68 of 1995 south African Police Service 1. The repeal of section 57. k t , 1995 !. The amendment of section 1 4- a ) by the substitution for subsection (1) of the fol- lowing subsection: "( 1) Any legal pro- ceedings against a mu- nicipal police service or member of a municipal police service [in respect of any alleged act per- formed under or in terms of this Act or any other law, or an alleged failure to do anything which should have been done in termsof this Act or any other law] recovery of a debt as de- fined in the Institution of Legal Proceedings against certain Organs of State Act, 2002, shall be instituted against the mu- nicipal council in ques- tion."; and b) by the deletion of subsec- tion (2). 14 No. 24112 GOVERNMENT GAZE’ITE, 28 NOVEMBER 2002 Act No. 40,2002 INSTITUTION OF LEGAL PROCEEDINGS AGAINST CERTAIN ORGANS OF STATE ACT, 2002 40. and year of law I Sxtent of amendment or *epeal k t No. 7 of 1998 The South African National The amendment of section Roads Agency Limited and i9- National Roads Act, 1998 a) by the deletion of subsec- tions (1) and (2); and b) by the substitution for subsection (3) of the fol- lowing subsection: “(3) Neither the Agency nor [any person mentioned in subsection (1)@)I= (a) any of the members of the Board; (b) the Chief Executive Officer; (c) any of the other em- ployees of the Agency acting in the perfor- mance of their duties; (d) any person acting on behalf of the Agency on the authority of the Board; or - any person who oper- (e) ates or has con- structed a national road, will be liable for any damage or loss suffered by any person through the use of any part of the na- tional road other than the roadway or as a result of the closure or deviation o f a national road under this Act.”. k t No. 111of 1998 Zorrectional Services Act, The repeal of section 130. I998 4ct No. 32 of 2000 ,oca1 Government: Municipal The amendment of section Systems Act, 2000 109 by the deletion of subsec- tion (1). .